The second COMMENTARY podcast of the week takes up the recognition of Jerusalem, the downfall of Al Franken, and shoes dropping all over the place in the Trump-Russia investigation. Give a listen.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to the commentary magazine podcast today is Thursday: the supper seventh. Nineteen. Forty one point: seventeen dump upwards, the other commentary These seventy three or monthly of intellectual analysis, political probity in cultural criticism from a conservative perspective, join us. A commentary magazine that calmer. We give you a few free, read them and ask it to subscribe. Ninety magnify for individuals version TWAIN that ninety five for an all access approach, including our beautiful monthly magazine in your mailbox eleven times a year,
with me as always agree, while their senior editor high Abe, hello, John, a where's, your phone- that is an excellent question, is found disappeared in his apartment and I'm wondering whether it went vanished into the fifth dimension, like that Twilight Zone episode where the kid falls behind her bed and goes into the fifth dimension. Without that's it. That's that's my only plausible answer at this point, because it would be a very big apartment. I known stamp and I hadn't had the phone when I woke up and by the time I left my house I was guy was gone. Nowhere for to have gone yet it's gone. Well, that's why you got Trump who, if that's also nor Rossman or associated or high Noah John No- and I had an amusing day yesterday, running into each other on studio at MSNBC, where I was at one table and he was at the other table- and I was on it for- and he was on at five.
Just to just to give you guys a sense of how tectonic plates shifting has been that we were both. Only I'm assemblies I thought you do it Robin. Do the banality of my life that I might the Big NEWS in my life is that I'm by bless my phone and you guys are running two orders of Europe and I did Fox had in the last It's ok, sorrow by think was I'm yesterday on Fox I'd like to yet so serves on access to, I might have assumed easy at Ford. Noah urine MSNBC at five enables losing its function, Rights are of Mari things. Really writer. I saw Rob hijacked right so We find ourselves a day after the announcement. The present United States that the United States was recognising jurists
as Israel's capital Sarai Rota, terrific blog post about this yesterday, tell us what you thought of the president's speech in what you think of a policy while penance and then I thought it was a Kapital idea- and I think the actions you see from the journalist. The class really are a case study in why it's important for people who were from sceptics like a lot of us round the table, and certainly the left as well, not to panic in response to everything the president does- and this is one of those cases where there was immediate panic from from diplomats and journalists o the french president has upset the arab street is gonna, be obsessed, there's gonna be do gloom and chaos in the Middle EAST and it happens, and we ve been where almost twenty four hours away from the decision and things are so far com. Thank God in his early in in Israel itself,
I think it was a welcome move at that. First of all, was something that is the american peoples will, as expressed through a Law that was enacted in Congress in nineteen eighty five calling on the state Department to move the embassy from TEL Aviv to Jerusalem. Successive president's above parties have used the waiver process to delay the move, and I think, there's something refreshing about that. Illustration just actually carrying out the will of the american people and the legislature on that front. On it just the democratic basis alone, small democratic basis. It was a good move, substantively can't do harm in it. It could even do some good in the sense that had telegraphed to the Palestinians that the d the- U S a, will no longer tolerate their max Alison, their jet ridge rejection is in their refusal to sit down for talks and b that bear the we
who s recognises, reality which, which is one which is of the? U S that is We will never relinquish Jerusalem, that it is the israeli capitalist whether the government is an so overall. I think it's a good thing am uncertain.
As harmful or chaos inducing as many depressing to think it will be be. The quick facts are that Israel, following these successful conclusion of the war of independence, waged against them by the entire arab world, when the Palestinians rejected the partition plan of the United Nations and decided to go to war, to destroy Israel a burning rather than to accept two states under which plan Jerusalem would have been an international city under international jurisdiction, so that it could remain open to all three abrahamic religions. Israel ended the war in possession of the western part of Jerusalem, Jordan in possession of the eastern part of Jerusalem and then in nineteen sixty seven,
the successful conclusion of the six day WAR Jerusalem was united and became me, as every israeli Prime Minister said from TAT Day to this, and that, as George built George W Bush Bill Clinton, Barack obama- Andy I'll trump all said at various times was the eternal and undivided capital of Israel in various campaigns speeches before they became president. So that's the fact. Eight hundred fifty thousand people live in Israel and in Jerusalem, it is the largest city by a factor of two in the country, sixty percent jewish thirty, five percent Muslim, every Muslim who lives in Jerusalem. Is a citizen of the state of Israel enjoy full civil rights? Freedom of speech, use of
Thou, universal health care all of that stuff and while their lives may not be what they would wish them to be and they feel oppressed living in a jewish state and various other things. Certainly their lives are vastly superior to the lives of those who live outside of the borders of Jerusalem. Palestinians who live. In the West Bank and Gaza, so the recognition of reality raises the interesting point, which is these conversations have been predicated on. A on a fallacious notion or or conversations for twelve years and impractical, on the fallacious notion that somehow Jerusalem's
the entirety of Jerusalem. Status remains up for grabs enough for negotiation as opposed to the route proposition which, which would be that at the very minimum West Jerusalem will never be, will never be retrocession into an intern. National city or given to the Palestinians. That is where you know, and I know what it is. Four hundred and fifty five hundred thousand Jews live mostly, and if you been there, you know that it is a vibrant, dynamic, remarkable, unique city on earth, not only because of its holiness of its ancient nature, but also because of its bustling now modern vivid life, so It was an it's been an absurdity and I think one of the key elements of this
conversation has has been misunderstood, which is the trump his speech nowhere in his speech does he preclude the real the Palestinians in negotiations the real surrendering east Jerusalem to the Palestinians to be their cabin, If it should so happened that that's where negotiations would leave the speeches civically, says that there is no problem term in the United States has no view of what Jerusalem is. That is, for Israelis, to decide if they decide that they wanted to give east Jerusalem to Palestine to be the capital called I'll codes, in it we had a final SAS negotiation. That is, that is something that could happen at. I doubt that it will happen and lino Absent day astounding sea change in palestinian attitudes, but we're safe
astounding sea change at this moment in attitudes all across sunny across the sunny world- and I dont know why. It's therefore unthinkable to imagine. That in another generation, after all of this has sunk in that such a sea change might be possible in the palestinian body politic. Abe lighter yeah. I think it's a stretch but when people have been attacking this decision on the grounds that it that it does have some sort of effect on answer for you, no final status negotiations regarding jurists. Because why would why would that ever be effected by where the United States decides to place its headed did decide to place its embassy? At this moment I mean that's that it's a sort of serve come under handed attack on this. I thought of generally speaking what what strikes me
about yesterday's decision, is that this is one of those things that I think no one, but Trump would have actually done. Even people who would agree with the decision part since you are very pro Israeli, had they haven't done it Merk presents have done before and its it phases, interesting questions about the possibilities of president, who doesn't have all that much respect for the status quo, because it's the status quo He also it's it's a sort of back door to conservatism in away, because a lot of sort of thinking is is, is about sort of you know not not taken the status quo at face value for the same conditions that induced this decision would have probably compelled any other president to hold off we are so much closer now as a result of geopolitical shifts, tour a real movement in the peaceful political peace process than we have been at any time. In my memory, the geopolitics have shifted.
Such that the hours we talked about in the last podcast. The arab spring demonstrated at all conflict in the region does not in fact stem from the political situation in the West Bank and Gaza and the a rise of the Shetland forces of looking toward Tehran, conflicting with Sunni forces which have powerful capitals in Cairo in Riyadh, both of which regard that as the larger conflict and think this sort of attraction, there needs to be wrapped up ahead of that conflict. A made this process possible so and any other president would look at that and say why no one upset this apple carcass. I could be close to this now this this thing this that has tantalized american President's since four seventy, five years and is now actually within reach in anybody else. What, ok, I'm not going on. I'm not gonna upset that process. Ok, we'll see. This is an interesting point, because the term peace process from its outset How exclusively relates to israel-
I'll stands and whether or not some bill can be struck between them. But of course we forget that the real story of Israel's isolation, the Middle EAST, have had less to do with I will stimulants, who only became an issue in the MID sixties, that it did with the total arab rejection. Of Israel as a as a state in their midst and the vow to destroy it, which lead to abuse of three different giant wars. Against and each of which successfully knocked out a major. Major arab players from a face to face com so the sixty seven more knocked Egypt and Jordan out the seventy three ward knocked Syria out and the eighty two war effectively knocked the peel, as a military force out,
Those three wars then left Israel in a in a new kind of geopolitical position in which they did not have to worry. Israel did not have to worry about being overrun by arab armies, seizing seizing this country, which was around the size of the state of Wrought, Rhode Island before the before the end of the sixty seven war. So there has been a peace process with the Arabs. It started with said dot, making a piece in nineteen. Seventy nine! It, though, If we proceed at a pace effectively, there was a piece with Jordan, real around them, but there were formal afford peace with straw in the early nineties, there is no formal, p with Syria, but there is no Syria anymore and effectively Israel. By taking out the syrian reactor ended any threat from
Syria, and now we have this astounding development of the crown Prince Mohammed, been salmon effectively seeming to move into an alliance with Israel so that peace, Access is moving very very rapidly. The Israel, Palestine peace process is is dead or its yachts stagnant, dormant, whatever you might want to call, the Palestinians are in a state of complete political sclerosis and frozen this. There has been no political activity in the palestinian territories in the, S bank for eleven years elections have been postponed, nothing's happening bosses. Old Hamas is Hamas is governing. As a badly, and so they enough is happening, there's nothing to negotiate over
they also moot it has almost no bearing on american foreign policy priorities. American grand strategy, western grand strategy accepted except the yard cushion or on Sunday decided to say that regional billowy required in Israel, Palestine. Peace deal for some bizarre reason, it is mood, it doesn't matter and even if the palate, even if the our policy in demonstrations over the weekend, and we Europeans, you know, do things like attack oh sure, restaurants and in Amsterdam and other places. The very fact is that we are we are talking about. America recognising a reality, and it doesn't matter they're all that much now, there's no difference, there's no even psychological difference that much between what happened between today, Thursday, as were according this end Wednesday morning before Trump
his decision to recognise jurists. Now there are two things that I think we should address. The first is a growing concern. And among people who watched the news that very tightly focused shots of Ramallah, in which twenty three people are throwing molotov cocktails, represents the arab street upright this is and coordinated protest outside the american Embassy in Ankara represent The explosion of the consensus in the Middle EAST towards this peace process and Donald Trump blew it up. For no discernible reason other than point number two, which is that this is a domestic sop to Sheldon. Addison is the kind of land that is being proffered by people at Peter ART. Who say that this is just a gift to a donor, and one in particular donor. Who is very interested in this one, the killer issue and is therefore reckless misuse of the office Andy dereliction of his responsibilities. Ok, here's the absurdity of that. If I could just jump
and one of which is the relationship between Israel and the United States, is unique in the world. The k and, basically understanding that we are the only country whose population is unambiguously more supportive of Israel that it is of the palestinian sixty. Seventy percent of Americans believe that Israel is on the right and the conflict they support. Israel has become increasingly partisan because many Democrats are moving away from his real, even as Republicans move into a kind of almost huh percent unanimous support of Israel, and so when we do unilateral things to express that support of Israel and the United States. Part of the reason that we're doing that is that that is also one of the few countries in the world in which trumpets popular abroad, so his wildly popular in Israel Obama had like a minor, eight or seven percent approval ready by the time he left office in Israel, Israelis, love trump because he likes them, so he doesn't it
those were shall mouse and maybe he's throwing a sop to people in another part of the world who support who say nice things about him when he likes it. When people say nice things about him, that's one way of looking at this anything Probably the right way. The other right way to look at it is Ok, social models in the big donor- and he likes is an so and so Trump is doing something else and likes. Well. What Obama was attacking Israel. There were democratic donors who don't like Israel, whom he was also providing a sop to so you know you can anybody can play that game in any in any direction. It should not matter to us how we feel and act towards Israel. The opinions countries that are implacably hostile to it. Aside from the fact that you know commentary is a magazine control jewish affairs, it is explicitly sign in frame. I would say this in any case that United States has
independent relations with every country that it has relations with, and if we are leader of the free world. We get to say we prefer this democracy over these tyrannies and over this kleptocratic autocracy in the in the West Bank and in and though, and the terrorist state in Gaza, we prefer it. We support it. Then big, you asleep, because it is a democracy and we are the leader of the free world. Trump is not the sort of person who uses their rhetoric that much, but he did in the speech yesterday, and that should be noted, I think, and The arab states themselves, as as you already alluded, John, are coming to that view, not for any sort of demo solidarity with Israel, but because they're scared of IRAN and unanimity. That cannot be enough. Didn't again, as you alluded already, that this is coming after days after Mohammed been salmon, the reformer prince-
Saudi Arabia called in the Amazon and an essentially said. I share what is essentially the the liquid vision for a palestinian state according to the New York Times had been solomons proposal does not even include palestinian control over EAST Jerusalem now that been contested in and its before, the famous right of return or the right of the Palestinians either need to be allowed to go back to their homes that their great grief, its own seventy five years ago or to be compensated for so size. The times characterized, and I can't disagree In some ways the Mohammed been salmon Peace opener or his opening proposal is more is tougher on the Palestinians, then Then even some rightwing israeli negotiators have been air. The arab world cover Muslim Middle EAST capitals have been the dog that didn't bark in this whole thing. Everyone government and has been the most has been had the harshest
Action to this, but Erdogan and a Turkey and Qatar are separate block from the rest of the Sunni powers there. I have for complicated reasons. But for in order once case he really does have autumn. Its ambitions of trying to be the leader, this anti muslim world, but sadly this out yet you're right this out here Libya, the immoralities and others have to be seen as separate from Turkey Qatar and which, in turn are separate from IRAN and its proxy sole aim. I want to go back to your point, which is that you know Trump has done something that only trumpet do. I don't know whether or not another prison with maybe the only reason some other Bruno, Rubio or crews are whoever was president wouldn't have done. It would have been to say well You know there is a small possibility of an international conflagration. It's not worth the risk right day. Nothing changes anyway. Why? Why take the risk? But they might I mean who knows
they certainly might if, if the things that are going on with Saudi Arabia, which I think are entirely independent of the- U S, Sadie relationship that those would have happened and would have been greeted with the same. What I imagine is ecstatic enthusiasm in the end, the other Republican White House, as in this white, has indeed in the Hillary Clinton White House. I can imagine that that this will also wouldn't have been seen as an enormously exciting. Advance so, but so the question is trumps. Is this a moment at which trumps total denial of norms may lead, as he said, to fresh thinking? Is this fresh thinking it's fresh, the question is. To what extent is there ever thinking involve you know, but that's that's not to not, it at all. I mean it. Could it could open the door to fresh gaming? That's that's the sort of that's the excitement of of of trouble,
I also think it important you know so we know we criticise tromp when we tackle with tongue whenever two years it is important that a politician who says that he's gonna do something when he is running for office. Does it when he is elected set for some reason. This is what are they things in which were supposed to accept the fact that everyone goes before the American, Israel, Public Affairs Committee and says you know Islam- is Israel's capital and I will move the embassy there and then it's fine that they don't do it because they didn't mean it in the first place. Well, Trump tat, he would do it any did it and politicians should be applauded for keeping their promises and they shouldn't. They should not be supported on the grounds that they are behind. In corruptly in lying to voters and lying to people, because the international immunity demands it here I mean exactly not to be not to be like a boy scout, but I mean you shouldn't that somebody for doing what he said. He was gonna, do they
I should say: that's good you can attack. Somebody could disagree with other gonna. Do no, but you did three with them. You say he shouldn't do it, because why? Because Diane Fine, Diane Centre from California, who was one of ninety senators who voted in June on the. I support the embassy should move in Jerusalem as the capital attacks him yesterday for say it s. True what is the capital she voted on this very point three. Ago four months ago and now attacks him. That's what I mean. That's what I'm saying that you know at least this case is not being a hypocrite. He said he would do any what he won the election. Already. Now, as you noted in the wood sprawling. We shall meeting to which I wish you were privy that you signed a waiver Nissan another six month, waiver
because what he said was. I want you to get a drop architects plan solidly it. This is a process has got it would take years anyway in the waiver allows everybody to just sort of let that happen, and so who knows this? Could this could go into twenty twenty or even the next term, but I saw the extent of the to the extent that this is a real earthquake in its statement of purpose. But beyond that is now a real policy change, but you know just the fact that, He kept the promise in itself is, is version of fresh thinking, because it's it's it's sort of getting rid of these up like this should enduring charades and games at that that people play on on this issue and and on others and it serve. You know it's it's in line with, with the way that the kind of changes and in the in the region that we're talking about an even the claim. You have to go back to the arbitrary point so this hasn't happened. Yet right. There has been no no giant conflagration for reasons having to do with you know in the in the wake of the arab spring.
Arab leaders cannot really are not really looking forward to mobs a gathering in the street and and and and throwing molotov cocktails or or or whatever. But let's say it were to happen right, If the idea is that american foreign policy is supposed to be held hostage by the political pathologies of the region, then any part of a future peace is an absurdity. Anyway, I mean it's think, were you know where we get to the point here, where the idea that the present United States can't say something supportive of an ally for fear of of irritating our angering other allies is, is a really peculiar thing like
we we aren't allowed to. We aren't allowed to do something spread of Israel. This. This is my favorite point here, because France, which has been wretched towards Israel, doesn't like the move because Germany, which not really great towards Israel doesn't like the move, because I mean it's interesting that you know Russia, Russia, didn't even Syria lover off the russian Foreign Minister asked this morning. What what he thought of who said, I can't hear you so it out. So the questioner I been here, I can hear what you're saying so like Russia, is being more. How hum this zena, whatever it's? What you're gonna? Do it's fine The astonishing thing about it are: they are the people who are arguing that this is now Pro Israel, many of them either in the Obama foreign powers, the circle or in the wider Obama in world of foreign policy thinkers. Who are the people who would go?
year after year before a pack to say that the President's as with Israel or of the big trotted out Vice President Biden, others who, who sounded very pro Israel notes, but who ended their administration, a putting IRAN on the path to nuclear radiation, giving get hundreds of billions of dollars and, in the end beginning with the jackals at the United Nations Security Council to pass a really dangerous anti Israel resolution. Those people I cannot believe. I really that concerned about whether this is a pro Israel move or not, and I think their opinions are just discounted because of their wreck. Two apes point earlier I mean almost all of the things that from has done that we like that book, nor consensus. The the abandonment of the darker, for example, the
refusing to recertified therein deal removing himself from the prayers climate accords and declaring Jerusalem the capital of of Israel. They result a lot of sermon dragon and puffed up a body of freak out on the part of Donald Trump critics, but they're really kind of cosmetic. It's not these things are actually changing. Policy Dhaka is something that Donald Trump really kind of backed off of the second. He did it the Randall and kicked back to Congress, and we don't really know what's gonna happen there, but it's unlikely that is going to be completely be certified. Climate accord didn't do anything in the first it's so leaving it was, was just a gesture but to put through these huge mythologies that build up around these these issues, even though they are in The best thing is just dispelling right right right because, because that, actually, because because those mid sort of big they move policy, they move public opinion and, and they d get us to a point where You know our policy towards Israel has to be. There has to be this huge gap between
what we say and what we do and it's a sort of Lincoln and not why you know why I also fascinated by this notion that in foreign policy, it is appropriate for cod. These two Actus ingenuously, by which I mean one moment, that this similar to is in two thousand and two, when it became clear that North Korea was engaging in nuclear testing, a violation of the nineteen. Eighty four compact made with Bill Clinton that led to an enormous expansion and food aid at various were relaxation of sanctions, and earlier economic spigot opening up in some sense and they violate the compact than they went nuclear and or will you have started to go nuclear and the Bush administration decided to announce that that North Korea had gone nuclear and it was in violation of this supposedly brilliant deal that had been struck by the Clinton administration.
And the deal was no longer operative because they have violated the terms and the into the the gut instinct of the Clinton people who had negotiated it and they so international community was to say this is terribly irresponsible. You can't amounts the day have gone nuclear because now he's gonna destabilize things and the answer was we're: not the ones stabilizing things there stabilizing things they violated the deal, and we are out into the world that this is the new reality. Similarly, I hate to go in this classic. You know didactic thing but three times in the last twenty years for the last set. Eighteen years, Israel has put a piece plan on the table, granting the Palestinians estate with ninety percent of the West Bank, in their control, Three times the Palestinians rejected at em twice started tell EM wars. It is not easy
real or the United States, it is destabilizing things by its. If things get destabilize by saying that Jerusalem as the capital, it will be the path Estonia, the same people who have been the destabilizing factor when Israel has made it clear that it is willing to take an enormous risk for peace. I would challenge you and that a little bit The notion that there is no utility to speak on the two sides of your mouth when it comes to foreign policy is its design when people do that when diplomats do that, when politicians do that is designed to preserve freedom of action, for example, the deeply r K example that use North Maria everybody knows that there is not going to be a first strike on North Korea, but the reason why we don't say that you want to make sure that you have as much freedom of action is possible and keep that option on the table and to preserve the status negotiations, not because it's possible not because we're going to allow a hundred thousand Koreans to be killed in the first twenty minutes of action.
Event, though, I agree with that you all I'm saying is, that is that you make a deal with somebody and they violate the terms of the deal and you announced the whether they, via the terms, the deal you're, not the bad guy. You Do something wrong by saying we view the deal that we struck as an operative because it was violated, pay other side, it that's like Emperor's new clothes, let's I'll, just pretend that there still in compliance, let's pretend that there still doing it. That's madness and you know we ve been fighting this since the beginning of the IRAN deal with this whole question of whether or not IRAN is in compliance with the terms of the iranian or you know and- and this is a big question- because obviously they're not in compliance with certain aspects of the IRAN deal and the people who are who are proponents of Randal say you can't say that
you're not allowed to say that you're gonna jeopardize. You know the IRAN deal well. If the IRAN deal isn't actually restraining iranian behaviour, which is what we expected and one of the reasons that we opposed it. Strenuously, then you know it it it we're not the bad guy. Is for calling them out on their the bad guys for doing it. I you know the rising just its Ellen three large? It's very much like this light like like yesterday's decision, because there is this chorus of pushed back. That said, no key, pretending pretty dangerous to stop pretending that I'm sure that's fair in this issue. What really terrified that a mill either that five million People are going to go into the streets in arab countries and start you know fomenting violence or that there's we are going to eat up. There's gonna be a new intifada, or something like that. I think that that there is a will, there is a prudent call involved here and that if Trump hadn't had decided that prudence dictated
do not do this. That also would have been an acceptable call. I think that there's was very good reason to believe and will see whether what I'm saying here next week as were foolish or not, that that was not going to be the case here for one thing: There aren't gonna, be wild big giant protests in the streets of arab capitals because there can it be allowed, because Oh, no Arab, given that you know the Jordan End and you know cause RO mine in Cairo in these places are I can allow million people to congregate and have a demonstration- that's too dangerous to these regimes. Right now, honestly, it's not the Middle EAST. We should be worried about its Europe The muslim population in Europe, the radicalized muslim population, pull a population in Europe targeting Israelis and Americans right. But but again, since Israelis actually like this like the deal
You know I'm sure if you pulled a right now, eighty percent of Israel's would say that they were for it. That's a risk that they are probably willing to shoulder, and it is what I'm saying that I think there's a prudence call here and that it's not you not. We can't just people who say you know! Maybe you should have done this, because it's going to cause a lot of violence that that's that's. It would be unfair to make fun of them and say that that's ridiculous objection. The ridiculous objections to say don't do this, because it's going to damage a peace process that barely even exist anymore. Ok guys! So we should take a bit of pause here to talk about one of our, I think, no one, I would agree one of our favorite sponsors from personal experience, away travel so away, travel, which is the luggage company,
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The way travelled outcomes. Last commentary use problem cook, Terry check out for twenty dollars off any suitcase, so it appears My friends that Centre L, Frank him has announced his as a nation in the coming weeks as We have sat here as women sitting here speaking about Jerusalem. Says quite defiantly that nothing that he has done as a senator has disgraced or damage to the institution in part, because I think almost every case here that has been discussed in his harassment. Groping stuff happened before he became a senator he's in their eyes the allegations he denies. Also the allegations and says- and I think Noah predicted this quote there
irony in the fact that, as I am leaving, while a man who is bragged on tape about his history of sexual assaults, sits the oval office and a man whose report that we prevent young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party and that, of course, why he was compelled to do this and why this is a pretty brilliant political play by the Democrats now and John Conyers. Today, on Monday, we had icon in the house and a giant in the Senate Self described, both of whom are on- and this does a lot to hold the democratic coalition together CBC, the congressional blockers was very frustrated over belated, but nevertheless, strong calls for John Conyers, too move himself from his perch, but there were no such calls for Al Franklin. Those calls came, Yesterday in quick succession over the course of about an hour, the virtue
the entire Senate. Democratic caucus turned on Al Frank and said he had to go something clicked between accuser, six, an accuser, seven, and demonstrated that the outbreak and could no longer maintain the support of the Democrats in the Senate, and it is a political calculation? I mean I got a lotta heat yesterday from partisan Democrats, who said I was insufficiently supportive of of the genuineness of this move as though wasn't all political theatre, guess what its political theater, but it's smart, political theatre, unfortunately, for L, Frank and John Connor's economy, Careers, but Democrats are now shorn of the hypocrisy of circling the wagons around people like like Conyers and Frank and in key, who, I believe is who use his name is no doubt about it: from them, and there are no more Clinton's. The Clinton's are gone. So Democrats are really free now to heap indignation upon Republicans in a way that will actually land, because there really, no longer being hypocritical about it
applicants are doing everything they can to demonstrate that they know this is coming and they are not making the best use of their time and defending themselves in a way that is that is, I guess, some excellent explicable. It's it's sort of flu feeling you're the one this round, and it's it's interesting because they haven't one they haven't, played a sort of new cycle. Well, in a while- and it is this. This strikes me as for the first time almost trumps election where we had been what Sir this pattern, where the Democrats will accuse the Republican, of doing something It then do it, then, elves anyway, you know said to say, trot trouble. Not going to honour our democracy. Wait a second let's, let's, let's let so we can do to now reversed the b, the results of this election and so on, and this seems to me this sort of first step down saying
ok- maybe maybe there is something worthwhile in being seem to have the moral high ground here right. Well, I ve been the the classic calculation here, the naked machiavellian calculation is, if you take it oral sand are you unilaterally disarming the ideological wars right so are you if you say out you, you can sacrifice L frank into this higher principle you're crazy. You shouldn't do that because we need L, Frank and because he is a democratic senator and he hid city the ok. So he did something wrong, but you know your guy bring them you're, giving the bad guys a victory that they shouldn't had opinion, isn't very well represented among elite Democrats, but it is very potent in the grass roots they are furious over what they see as double standards right and then, let's go to the other side of this, of course, which is The real reason just establishing the predicate for making
Roy more should he women Alabama next week the poster boy of the Republican Party, not trump. Here's was interesting. So Trump is not that popular, but you know a obviously that three with eight three seventy percent, then you know, aggregate approval ratings. But you know, he's may be popular enough for his become familiar above that of the notion that he's the rallying point- firm everything- maybe maybe he that's gonna- run its course. To some extent this is fresh meat, most of the country is gonna disapprove Roy more, including where suburban Republicans, all over the country where there are Senate's, races and house raises, and things like that and They can say Here is Roy more a credibly, accuse child molester, feeble file. I hear
Is the new phase of the Republican Party because they had a moment when they could have rejected him and thrown him under the bus and said they were and these started to, and then they backed off. They check him out the president forced them. The currency supported him. He became a senator this the Republican Party you vote for this party. Your voting, a party that houses and sceptics excuses and explains away Child molesters end that gives them a new in if this story continues to be hot, the sexual harassment story to raising the trunk the women the eleven women are fifteen women who claim the trump harassed and abuse them which is hard to raise because there's no what's the way you know there's so much much else that are complaining about Tramell, it's completely clean Tony and the republican response. Now is old news. We lit
David, that an election to the other. We we ve been over this and it's been decided by the voters and we're not going to deal with this anymore. Theirs it they have. Republicans have been have managed to adopt every distasteful l element of the Clinton Playbook of self defence. Discrediting the accusers declaring the issues to be old news. I'm fine I'm thinking about missing on an utterly allegedly uttered the reversal was shuts strike. So what happens next year when there are races between you know, Democrats and Republicans, and the democratic has some kind of skeletons closet. And the Republican says you can vote for this guy. He did Ex wines ear, he had an affair or you know something or his wife. Whatever.
And then the question is oh, so your Republican and your party support avoid more. It's like the perfect shield for any use of a negative attack on a Democrat for moral turpitude in the election, and the eighteen another. I'm sorry some some republican and conservative commentators are really going toward the line of saying. Not towards their there really crossing it up, saying that there is no issue of character that really matters right leg. It is, I mean some of the mark, as, as Noah's pointed out there going about for our frank and not because they love L, Frank in, but because they want to see Roy more see that was new, Gingrich Newgate Lorraine. When Lord Ingram right, I think that's so huge mistake, partly for the tactical reason that you just mentioned, which is in twenty eighteen added Democrats will be able to hang.
This label around the neck of every republican running, saying that you're, the party of of creeps like Roy, more and for a moral reason, which is that the Republicans for thirty years old, more, have stood on the idea that character matters, that politics isn't just about policy outcomes, but who conducts it and we're. Just so far away from that- and I think that's a disgrace for for moral reasons, but all sides, it's terrible polly. You know that in two thousand and ten and in truth and twenty twelve, both reason, good years for Republicans in house and arises even though Obama, one in twenty twelve should have been that they exist. Of bad actors in primaries Sharon angle, Richard Murdoch, Todd Aiken were as Chris Donald. These were nationalized by democrats to say you can't vote for these lunatics. Ok. Now we have you canvas.
For these child molesters, that's better that this was good. Already, that's fantastic, but that is If you hands out now, it's obviously workers that would be. You want Roy more to be chairman of the Savage edition. You want women were to be voting on judges. I've been like that you know, but much of her this place out is going to depend on future revelations of future potential creeps right I mean especially if that, if the, if IE, if the congressional fund that covers the office of compliant exactly the opposite, replied sort why that is if that, if that, but if, if names come out of that, what what? What? What? What did the Democrats do going forward now, due to the heavy zero tolerance policy for real or was this was? Is the one symbolic
so? I want to raise something prospects for twenty eighteen. It should terrified republicans to that point, I don't know whether or not they need a cogent, blanket response to these situations. That can be ad hoc. As long as it's been characterized by the kind of discipline we ve seen them exercise over the course of The last couple of weeks we have started with Conyers, you had Nancy Blowsy, come right out in front of this thing and raw fire for her members. In a way that was a disaster and for her party, but it nevertheless demonstrated that her instinct was to maintain discipline when the offer revelations came out in the November twenty first, something along those lines. Every sender, up until yesterday, at around eleven forty five was dead, quiet on it all the sudden boom. The desert its broke loose and everybody had an opinion on this thing. That was real discipline. By contrast, Republicans are all over the map. The
our answer is now back in Alabama, even though kind of got out the inner recipe isn't in L a ban, but it has, there been a whole set of Torreon their beholding. The MID Mcconnell niche Mcconnell is taking a different position on this from Donald Trump who took a position on this. That is at odds with his own press. Secretaries presbytery say what we think we should get up, but also we can really prove it, and now Tom Trumpets endorsing this sort of thing. They have No position on this. It is every man for himself. The republican senatorial conference of this public consent send a conference is at war with itself over this thing, and that is going to typify how things move forward. When these allegations come out dismal versus invoked by the way. One point I see from from the die hard still more: What does that have an ever peace but more today and one of the biggest kind of Monday, that the volume of kind of hate tweets than ever it received. The biggest complaint or criticism is that the allegations are unproven and he deserves due process and so on and so forth. Let
We can see that all of moors accusers are lying just for the sake of arguing There still remains the case that this is a guy who a has said the Illinois is run Sharia LAW, which is insane and can territorial and an kooky, be he's guy who, who is essentially defied, federal court orders for him to was removed from elected office. Vets, refined, federal court orders. That's right and is a guy who says Muslims should serve in Congress. Certain high office, which is an american, even if the at the other allegations of sexual misconduct were unfair Roy. More, is a particularly kind of problematic character. But then you add these. I think I think credible accusations.
She's a heedlessly we set. We thought it would be a disaster for Roma to be in the in the setting. One speak for everybody before before the single out. There was a single story about a lot about a woman. He was already the most extreme person here. Likely to be the most extreme, be, was going to be the most exciting person ever elected to the Senate. Before any of this happened before he met, you rendered Republicans hypocritical. On the issue of character, he went with them hypocritical on the issue of judicial supremacy, special intervention in legislation. Here's what I would say that you are warning like that. You know you don't know. What's going to come out and what? If there are a lot of Democrats, the simple thing right now is that you have both in the House and the Senate, the ability for Democrats to say we We house we problems are merged. Terrible things happened, and you know these were free. These were idols of ours? These were people that we admired and respect those public officials, and we said we cannot countenance nor presence here, because this is
your behavior is uncivilized and and and disastrous until even if they don't do it, hundred percent of the time they will have. You no kicked out the dean of the Senate heavily here, the congressional black hawk as someone who has served for fifty two years, which is ridiculous and you know, one of the most famous sellers in a way that would serve a celebrity senator known to everyone. In the United States, and so you know if they. If, if things we are war. There are slower we unless, unless they're hundred cases, almost a hundred and fifty cases and they're all Democrats, you wanna depress yourself, go a story about Bob Packwood and how they'd handlebar backward and your requests from Mitch, Mcconnell and Giant Feinstein an chart, Glad Grass Lee was the centre from organ the Barcelona has accused from you have basically the first person ousted baby
politics for sexual harassment. Twenty two years twenty two years ago after in your time, wash impose story, detail the hundred instances in which he had you now stuck his tongue, down women's throats and stuff lobbyists throats and stuff, like that. So, let's quickly turn to the Mueller Trump NEWS very quickly, so I just want to bring up two things no wants to go nuclear on something, but I think we don't have time for them to details one Michael Flynn, whistleblower claims that he was with somebody who got an email from Michael Flynn. Eighteen its into trumps inaugural speech, saying the sanctions for Russia are going to be blown up, and now is the time now we're all going to get rich. Basically off the russian Nuclear Power plant deal in the Middle EAST that I've been working on.
Thus indicating a potential literal quid pro quo. For the sorts of things that Flynn was having conversations with the. Russian ambassador surgeon Italy acts that are the the source of his guilty plea to Robert Mueller for having misled the FBI about the nature of those one calls rights are the number one and number two is Donald, Junior testifying for the House Intelligence Committee. Yesterday refusing to answer questions about his conversation with his father about the meeting with the russian lawyer in June and Trump Tower. On the really bizarre grounds that that conversation was protected by attorney client privilege. He not. An attorney and his father not being attorney, but potentially there being an attorney present, which, at the very least, being an entirely novel use of this idea.
Suggests that he didn't want to answer the questions, because the answers to the questions are not good, so these to data points sorrow than I am. The last show said we thought. Maybe this was gonna fizzle, that the whole trump you know what bill. Investigation was never gonna get to the who got what from who, where I think it's a little harder to make their case now at these two pieces of news, yeah. Ok, so, and they make us, a quick. A lot of people are closer to special investigations. The department of justice than I am, and they trade on that expertise to suggest Mueller is not doing what the Department of Justice recommends. You do in these cases, which is really to charge as high as you can get suggesting that maybe they don't have anything on them. It doesn't look like that's. What's happening, we don't really know what's happening here, and I suggest everybody take a step back and embrace some humility. Second,
Really. We had a big controversy this week involving complex of interest to lead to conflicts of interest on the Mueller probe, which has led people who were sceptical of the Mueller programme. The first to go to eleven with their scepticism and say this whole thing is to be. This band millions to resign, etc. So forth, Charles Gleich rashly saying we need to see documents of this one, let individual in particular who was working on the case involving Hillary Clinton. And changed some wording in a very confused speech by James Comin July of twenty sixteen, basically indicting Hillary Clinton in every way, but literally the same, removing some problematic language from that speech. That suggest to them a conflict of interest group Grassley wants documents that are not forthcoming, because the Doj doesn't give documents on criminal cases to Congress, while the criminal cases be Judah created so they're, just essentially setting up talking points for themselves. It's all! political effort? It stinks like politics is the very soon
resting and everybody needs to back off of it a little bit and lead to take its course, there will be efforts to indict these people and the based on their character. However, often you want you can bet, you can indict these people based on the character and associations, but the merits of the case speak for themselves while some of this is not going through Mueller I'm in the detail about it, that's from the congressional compose both these, but they are, I mentioned there all overlap. One is testimony to has intelligence committee which, by the way Mueller can I mean it's not in there. The fight for Mueller's. You send me if, if there is a you know, if he is released, the transcript he can prosecute on the grounds that Donald Trump Jr is obstructing justice. By refusing to you know, detailed conversation that may have been something illegal and then the whistle blower came through the House Oversight Committee because the news of it came from Elijah Cummings, the ranking member Democrat ranking member of the House Oversight Committee wheels
challenge. I think at this moment to trade Gouty, the chairman of that committee. You may remember the guardian Cummings, you know, spend a couple of years a daggers drawn dealing with the Benghazi Matter, A couple of years ago and the Gouty plays himself up himself forward as a you know, rigorous too hard charging prosecutor looking to get the facts, and if he let this sit there, if he lets this ridiculous claim by down from junior that somehow he can claim as models of attorney attorney chronic client privilege were conversation with his father because trumps Republic entity as a while ago at it, I got sequence in the office. Rageous declare bankruptcy by screaming it and today either. I declare bankrupting, I mean. Look, I think, is important to know that I have I'm a sceptic on the I've, been a sceptic on the Russia matter. For months on this podcast than the other
and these two details. I think I still think there's a long way to go before you can establish any kind of quid pro quo, but if there, if you can establish a quid pro quo, these are data points that lead you to the possibility, establishing a quid pro quo and I've never been particularly skeptical and in regard to MIKE Flynn, Bud the larger Russia problem- and I think here I think the Detroit Day- Donald Junior Claim- is certainly the most flagrant alarm and touches the president for the first time, because he's saying I won't tell you what I told the President Baker and why wouldn't me if it was if it was, if what he had to say was Anna Diamond not damaging. Why? Wouldn't you just said? This is the sort of second novel use of something like it reminds me of when Jeff session said in his congressional testimony that he didn't want to say what he and Trump had talked about.
Case. The president might at some later date decide to invoke his executive privilege and men and not want to talk about Well, if I got one of my favorite moments in the 80s was there was an ambassador to Austria when Auger James was arrested the charge that there was arrested and charged with espionage with the Russians. The ambassador. When I might line and TED couple, you know interviewed him and said the first question was thank you for coming out, monsieur Messer. What do you think of? What did you think of older James? You know as a person and the ambassador said, I am sorry tat. That's that's class! Apples that Europeans have Aldrich Himself class of special, people come up with all sorts of novel ways to try, did not answer questions, but that that that I think remains one of my one of my favorite comic moment so,
we are approaching the our mark, so I think we're gonna. Get a big you a fond farewell. It may snow here in New York this weekend. Obviously our thoughts and prayers. If we, if I'm allowed to say that go out to anybody in California who is who is living through these read this, fires, as their homes threaten, never seen anything like it. All. Our good wishes go your way so for a brick wall Murray, I'm John, but words keep the cannibals.
Transcript generated on 2019-12-13.